Silly me ordered this even though I don’t enjoy a lot of honey-forward teas. And I’m not the biggest fan of dancong oolong. And when smelling the leaf every month trying to decide if I was in the mood, I was always left with this overwhelmingly rich and roasty honey impression that never coaxed my desires.
A stupid sense of longing arose within me today, that softie romanticism that could not be fulfilled. I again sniffed the leaves in their jar, maybe for the twentieth time. I reached for my saxophone, began to play. Another sniff of the leaf and this time, without hesitation, I measured 8 grams into my clay gaiwan. My cat, asleep on the bed, raised her head and gave me a leering glance. She’d had enough of my poor pressure control and the resulting off-key vibrations. She bellowed a deep and dissatisfied howl, stating her perturbance with my dissonant disturbance. She sauntered to the living room and sat on the chaise like the princess she is with her back turned to my door. Can I blame her? I’m going through spooning withdrawals, sorry.
I was weak and tired today and in my weariness, I committed a few follies at my tea table. Mistakes? No. Learning the boundaries of the leaf. One boundary is not letting a long hand brew the leaf. What was supposed to be five seconds for the first steep got away from me and turned into twenty. And while it was fine, I continued with forgetful infusions which did not do the brew any favors. The other limitation of this tea is that it’s green under the roast, as became clear by the third steep. Water right off the boil really brings out a full-mouthed drying quality. Not a sharp astringency, but when combined with seasonally low October humidity and a sunken sob playing her instrument, well, it was time to put away the brass. My cat is still snubbing me.
Other than that, this tea is not remarkable but it is comforting and pleasant, more than I wanted to give the dry leaf credit for. It’s like nourishing nectar coursing through my veins, at least that’s the way it made me feel. More floral and light than the dragging heaviness and soggy, sickly sweetness I usually experience from dancong. Besides the way the tea flows through my body and mind, its strength lies in the finish and aftertaste with the softest fuzzy white peach mixed with lychee. Yes.
Next time I will brew it with lower temperature before deciding if the leaf is as finicky as my cat’s preference for her water source — the bathtub faucet at a specific flow rate. Princess.
Edited to add a song pairing: Zero 7 — Somersault
Flavors: Almond, Bitter, Brown Sugar, Cherry, Drying, Floral, Grain, Honey, Lychee, Mineral, Nectar, Peach, Roasted Barley, Sugar, Sweet, Wood